Google Analytics basic configuration guide
21st April 2019
In the previous article “How to setup Google Analytics for your website“, you have learned how to create a Google Analytics account and implement the code into your website. But before you can exactly get better insights from the data collected you need to do some basic configuration first to clean the data.
This article will show you what are the basic configurations needed to get more actual insights.
- Create three new views
- Exclude internal/external traffic
- Exclude WordPress Preview Traffic
- Lowercase page URLs
1) Create three new views
By default, a default view is auto-created for you and this will be your RAW view, so DO NOT TOUCH this view at all. This Raw view act as your original data and also a backup, if anything goes wrong with your Working view you can go back to this Raw view.
This is your working view where filters are applied so you can get the most accurate data and gain better insights out of it.
As the name implies, this view is for you to test your new filter before applying it to your Working view.
Let’s learn how to create the three view
Create Raw view
- Login to your Google Analytics account
- Click on the Admin link located at the bottom left of the page
- At the third column, click on the view settings
- Under the View Name, rename it to “Raw view”, update your country and currency and click the save button
Create Working view
- Go back to the admin main page
- Click on “View Setting” link again
- Then click on Create View button
- Under the Reporting View Name, rename it to “Working view”, update the country, currency and save
Create Testing view
- Repeat the same step as to how you create the Working view
- For reporting View Name, rename it to “Testing view”, update the country, currency and save
Do a page refresh
- Click on the analytic account on the top left
- Now you can see the three view listing
When you want to see the daily data click on the “Working view”, if you want to test a new filter or setting, select the “Testing view”
2) Exclude internal/external traffic
If your employees and you are spending a lot of time on the frontend and backend of your website, it is important to exclude your internal and external IP address from Google Analytics. So you will know that the data collected from Google Analytics is from a valid user.
To find your IP address, you can visit www.whatsmyip.org
Let exclude the IP address, and we will straight away implement it in the Working view.
- Go and select your working view
- Click on the Filters link
- Click the Add Filter
- Under Filter name, name it External internal IP address, select Predefined, exclude, traffic from the IP address, that are equal to, enter the IP address and save.
- If you have other IP address need to filter out, repeat step one to four.
3) Exclude WordPress Preview Traffic
Some of you will be using WordPress and might do a lot of previews to check your content before they are published. But once you have implemented the Google Analytics, every time you preview your content, Google Analytics will start logging it as a valid count. We should also exclude this from the data.
Let’s exclude WordPress preview traffic
- Click Filter then Add Filter
- Click Create new Filter
- Name it exclude WordPress preview traffic
- Select custom and exclude
- For Filter Field, select Request URL
- In the Filter Pattern key in preview=true
- Click Save
When Google Analytics read the URL having this line “preview=true” it will not track it as a valid hit.
4) Lowercase page URLs
Google Analytics tracking is case sensitive, so to make sure that Google Analytics treats the same URL as one value instead of multiple values, we will force all URL to lowercase when Google Analytics is reading it.
- Click on Filter
- Click Add Filter
- Select Create new Filter
- Name the Filter name as Lowercase page URLs
- Select Custom Filter Type
- Click on Lowercase
- For Filter Field, select Request URL
- Click save.
When this is implemented, Google Analytics will treat www.example.com/abc.html the same as www.example.com/ABC.html.
For a start, all these settings are good enough to get a clearer insight from the data collected and for you to make a better decision on how to improve the site performance.
In the latter part, when you are more familiar with how the data works, you can add in more settings such as goal function and also link up your Adwords account.
If you have stayed until now, I will teach you how you can to share your Google Analytics data with other users without giving out your account.
- Go to the Admin page
- In your Working view, click on User Management
- Click on the Add user button
- Enter the email address of the user you want to share with. (Better to use a Gmail)
- For permission, just checked the box depending on which level of access you want to give to the user. Normally “Read and Analyse” is good enough, and then click add.
The user will receive an email and they will be able to log in from there.
Hope this article does bring you some good insights about Google Analytics. In the next article, I will show you how to read and understand the data.
Do share with your friends if you find this article useful.